With just one day to go till most English schools break up for the summer holidays, I thought I’d post a poem!

In 2007 we worked with the fabulous Poet Matt Black for a Creative Partnerships project.


At the end of the project we had an OFSTED inspection and Matt wrote a Poem based on his observations.


He only gave a copy to me and I’ve just rediscovered it in a pile of papers that I was sorting out but I think it’s very apt given the circumstances of the new OFSTED¬† inspection criteria.


The OFSTED State

Children, observe the teachers’ shallow breathing.

Yes, today they are behaving strangely.

And have you noticed how extra nice they’re being?

Look, some jaws are tighter, and some are laughing more.

Children, I should explain,

They’re not on drugs, and we’re not at war.


Ask Alan, the caretaker, he doesn’t give a …………monkeys,

And Brenda, the Secretary, her usual smiling self.

Go to them, children, if you want some normal.


Yes, your teachers are doing the near-impossible,

They’ve been in all weekend, writing plans,

Redefining pedagogical.


Has your teacher made any special requests?

With a desperate look?Not to bring games in tomorrow?

And please, to do your very,very best.


If you’d been in the staff room at briefing this morning.

You’d have witnessed 25 professionals,

Ignoring the choc box and hyperventilating.


I whispered to them-please keep breathing.

But you needn’t worry, children, the Dunkirk spirit,

Is alive and well, now the inspectors are coming.


And Mr C, the Deputy, he will be alright.

Yes, his voice is a bit shaky, and he’s looking flushed-

But he’s just had a sleepless night.


See Mrs D, the Head, she still seems to be cool,

Always a good performer, telling staff that she’s learned,

The lead inspector ran a Catholic school-


‘Of course, on all the emotional stuff, we’re fine.

Didn’t we have someone looking at RE?

Emma, please mention spiritualism a few times.’


Children, if you keep hearing the word spiritual,

It means we are in the presence of something weird and powerful,

But don’t worry it’s not for real.


by Matt Black


Wishing all educators everywhere a very lovely Holiday and a fantastic start to the new academic year.

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"
  • Anonymous

    Love it! 

    (any chance of an email subscription to the blog?)

    • http://ideasfactory.me Julian S Wood

      Thanks for the lovely comment Ju.

      Your wish is my command-have added subscription by email to the left hand bar of blog.

      Get in touch if it doesn’t work and thanks again for your support.

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